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Facebook puts price on its new Portal TV

Shawn M. Carter

Social media giant Facebook has put a price on its new streaming device.

Portal TV — an accessory that, much like Amazon’s Fire Stick, plugs into a TV and offers access to a library of online content — will start at $149 and begin shipping Nov. 5.

The device comes as part of Facebook’s Portal family, which includes two smart tablets that allow users to video chat with one another. It joins an already crowded field of popular smart-TV providers, like Amazon and Roku, but it’s pricing is a bit on the higher end.

Roku’s revamped streaming stick starts at $29 and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick starts at $39.

Unlike its competitors, though, Facebook’s device will feature a camera and microphones that would work with the platform’s Messenger and WhatsApp verticals. That might also allow the company to tap into fun extras, like augmented reality and face effects.

But the main focus will be on streaming: The company said you’ll be able to watch Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access, Showtime and more. Plus, The Information noted in July that Facebook approached Netflix and Disney about adding their content to its hardware.

Facebook’s device could come at a time where users are still weary of the company’s privacy practices. An Illinois lawsuit accused Facebook of violating the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act by illegally collecting and storing millions of users' data.

And Facebook is still dealing with the fallout from the 2016 presidential campaign, in which experts argued Russian hackers used its user data to interfere in the election.

But it seems that the company is aware of that: You’ll be able to disable the camera and microphone via a tap or a sliding cover at the front of the device, according to The Verge.

Facebook shares were up 1% as of press time.

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